Out of all the consoles I’ve come across over the years never have I purchased one that has a warning notification on the back that reads “Due to the characteristics of the LCD, there are some dots that do not light up or that never turn OFF. However, please take note that this is not a defect”. It’s fair to say that my suspicions about its functionality were more than a little roused? It’s like buying a car and being told that sometimes the brakes don’t work or that the condom you’re using has holes in. The “Portable PXP3 Slim Station” was a dubious investment, one motivated by curiosity above anything else, and when a package arrived weighing less than an anorexic cotton bud, that sceptical acrimony didn’t really recede. But maybe I’m being overly presumptuous, a little too pessimistic. Maybe it won’t be so bad? In the same way that having you’re ass hair removed with a blunt razor blade won’t be so bad? Or that a horror movie starring Pink might be better than expected (it’s not!). Sorry, sorry. I’m doing it again. Now to be fair the box that contains the Slim Station–a name that I’m sure Sony’s attorneys would be thrilled to hear about–is actually pretty cool looking. The design is a very bold, with vibrant red as if it’s been drawn by an excitable art student whose been forced to draw monochromatic portraits for years. It’s also veneered in this rather sparkly coating you’d get on a shiny Football sticker or Pokemon card. It has Spider-man lunging out of the screen, boasting 1gb of internal memory, depicting the absurd number of games available on the system, which I’ll get onto in a moment. Yet strangely the fraudulent box art, which has somehow managed to breach patents by Sony, Sega and Nintendo features products like Fifa, Super Mario and inexplicably Shaun The Sheep? None of which are available? In fact it’s resources are rather limited.
Despite the advertised “999666” game capacity, it’s actual content is something of an embellishment, in the same way that referring to the Holocaust as a “mild skirmish” might be considered understated. The box; comprised of the device, TV connection, a charger with a wire that’s the same length of an ants conservatory also comes with 2 compatible cartridges, as well as the systems own internal content, both of which boast similar exaggerated versatility to the number of games it contains. And though each of these units contains a robust roster of classic 16 bit titles such as TMNT, Shinobi, Sonic The Hedgehog, Decap Attack, Streets Of Rage and Golden Axe 2, it is in fact the same 40 or so catalogued games repeated. The number of actual games available is actually closer to 150 which isn’t actually too bad, even considering that some of these titles might not be entirely legitimate nor strictly legal. For instance Nintendo may have something to say regarding a game called “Super Mario Brothers”, which seems to be some form of derivative of the Super Mario Brothers format. But instead of jumping on Goombas, you throw crates at them, as you pick up diamonds along the way? There are various instances of trademark infringement on this device, including a rather jarring Harry Potter game. Yet the biggest infringement comes courtesy of the device itself.
“Yeah; I think Sony may have something to say about it’s design?”
It’s not just modelled on a PSP; it’s like an identical duplicate! Just cheaper looking. It’s like Blue Peter did an episode on “how to craft you’re very own PSP” using materials like Cardboard tubing, cereal box’s and sticky back plastic. The Slim Station (seriously, that’s a lawsuit pending right there!) is certainly not going to hold up to any abusive scrutiny, as it’s light and fragile build would likely shatter if it fell from you’re hand on to a bed of roses. And that’s if the loose buttons stay fitted! It’s also equipped with two shoulder buttons that have absolutely no use, a battery with the capacity to hold a charge as well as a Strawberry trifle (just over 2 hours). It’s impossible to play even while charging as the lead is roughly 30cm long, and if you’re playing a game and try to plug it in for an additional charge it just shuts off all together. It has a TV adapter that allows you connect it to you’re television. Not that I’ve been able to do this as much like the charger it doesn’t reach from the back of my TV and round so I can actually see what I’m playing! As I stated in my previous article you don’t actually get to choose the colour of the device either, just roll the dice and hope it doesn’t land on snack eyes, or in this case pink. Mercifully the one I received is black, furnished with a delightful courtesy scratch on the screen. The screen itself is small but serviceable and the sound is of reasonable quality. So yeah; it’s cheap looking, has a cheap feel and even smells cheap. So how well does it work? Not bad considering.
“Mario isn’t quite the way I remember it?”
Yes it looks as though it’s been assembled by Stevie Wonder under the supervision of a toddler. It may very break by the time I’ve concluded this review, but it functions. It allows me to play long forgotten gems without winding my bank account. When you turn the switch on, it turns on. When it’s in the off position, it turns off. It would be insultingly deceptive if not for the clear clarity of the price. If you were expecting a quality item with no issues or falsities for £10, then you shouldn’t be allowed a credit card. It’s brazen exploitation of distribution rights is commendable as is it’s flagrant regard for spell-check. The two page instruction manual for instance details the device and how to be “playinging” it. Sometimes games don’t require profound ingenuity, in this case it didn’t even need to advertise itself effectively or even have instructions that are spelt properly. I misjudged this cheap little piece of plastic simply because it was cheap. Sometimes just having something do that is all you need.
It would be foolish of me to recommend this product; it’s largely rubbish, likely unreliable and it’s vulgarity as a purported console is only matched by its cheapness. In an era of technological innovation where consoles have to be multifaceted gaming platforms and streaming devices, as well as looking good doing it, the Slim Station is the PoundStretcher of home entertainment. But £10 for roughly 150 games, for a portable device that also connects to you’re television (sort of?) is a bargain by anyone’s estimate. Besides, I’m quite partial to some discount chocolate.
The PXP 3 Slim Station is available at all good on-line retailers. And some bad ones too.